(Home Depot to the Rescue!)
3/26/07: We bought a GE freezer, model FUF14DTARWH from Home Depot on 3/26/07. We bought GE's extended warranty, "Service Protection Plus."
We were planning on buying a quarter of a steer from the high school's Future Farmers of America, which we did. We bought the upright freezer solely to store our meat. After that beef was gone we bought a half a steer in March of 2008. Most of that beef was still in the freezer in August, plus a whole bunch of other types of meats. Our freezer was almost full, but was not so full the door didn't have room to close.
On the GE web site the CEO stated, “I’m out talking about this company seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with nothing to hide. We’re a 130-year-old company that has a great record of high-quality leadership and a culture of integrity.”
In the advertising for the extended warranty that I purchased it says, “When you choose our service contract, you receive prompt, reliable service from expert technicians….”
As you read on see if you see any of that integrity, reliable service, or expert technicians:
8/15/08: Our neighbor found the door of our GE freezer slightly open while we were away on vacation. All the food inside was thawed and blood and water was on the floor of our garage. The neighbor closed the door to refreeze food to keep bugs out.
8/17/08: We came home from vacation and wondered if we were responsible for leaving the door open. We left the freezer on and closed because trash day wasn't until the 22nd. The sides and top of the freezer exceeded 120°.
8/19/08: We found the freezer door slightly open (incident #2) with blood and water on the floor of the garage. Nobody had opened it! That's when I decided to call GE at 800-626-2224 to submit a repair order on our extended warranty. The freezer was defective. There was also a green oily spot. I touched it and it felt like oil. I wiped it up with a paper towel and, three weeks later, it was still oily which tells me it wasn’t water. I had nothing oily in my freezer. It came out of the freezer somewhere.
8/26/08: The GE repair tech looked at me like I was lying when I told him the door had opened by itself. He said he never heard of such a thing. I told him I wanted a whole new freezer because I couldn't trust this one any more.
He didn't want to look at my paper towel and he said it couldn't be oil since the motor is a closed system. After he left I looked under the freezer and felt more of it on the copper tubing underneath. Copper turns green when it oxidizes. So, whatever was dripping along the copper tubing had to come from somewhere in the freezer, but your tech said no.
I showed him two places the door gasket didn’t sit tightly against the body of the freezer. So he ordered a new door gasket and door liner. The tech told me that I wouldn’t receive the $100 on my contract for food spoilage because it wasn't the fault of the freezer door that the food thawed.
9/4/08: Another tech came to install the gasket and door liner. I told him what had happened. He told me that, in his 19 yrs as a tech, he never heard of such a thing as the door popping open by itself. Yet, while he was here he also said he had never had to replace a gasket.
The tech put the door back on and said something wasn't right in the way the door was mounted. He removed it and adjusted the hinge pin receiver in the bottom of the door. He did that a couple of times until he was either satisfied it was closing properly or he got tired of trying. . I believe it was the latter based on what the next tech told me.
He told me that the gaps in the gasket should close in 24 hrs. If not I was to call and tell GE I need a WHOLE NEW DOOR! I told him that the automated system GE uses does not give me the option to speak to a real person. He gave me a number to call.
He also put Vaseline around the gasket. He told me all freezers and refrigerators have it on them when they are new and people often wash it off. I told him I have had many refrigerators and freezers over the years and have never gotten one with any Vaseline on it. He told me I probably washed it off. HUH? Anyone else out there buy a freezer with Vaseline around the gasket?
9/5/08: The gasket still had gaps in it. I called the number he gave me which turned out to be the tech line. I was transferred to a man who told me I couldn't tell them to order a door. He said the tech had to order the door. He began to tell me that I needed to schedule another appointment. I asked him how I could contact the tech to tell him he did it wrong and needed to order the door himself. He said he would contact the tech and get back to me no later than Monday, the 8th.
9/9/08: That guy never called me so I scheduled another repair visit via the automated system.
9/11/08: The 3rd tech told me that he would have to replace the entire door. No surprise there. However, it was worse than the 2nd tech had indicated. Not only was the hinge pin and receiver not right, the top hinge was dented into the door as well. The door sits higher than the body of the freezer on the hinge side. Apparently GE assembled it incorrectly and carelessly when it was manufactured.
For the third time, I gave my non-professional opinion on what had caused the door to pop open. I think the motor may have cut out, the meat began thawing, the meat emitted gases, and the door was forced open because the gasket and door were not doing their job. That’s what I told each of the techs and they all said it wasn’t possible. They did suggest that the food had been rearranged so there wasn’t enough clearance for the door to close properly. I know for a fact that was not true.
That day I went online to the GE web site and filled out a form regarding all the trouble I had experienced. I said I was not at all comfortable with getting my freezer fixed (which is what I already told techs #1, #2, and #3). My freezer was a biohazard since $1,000 worth of meat had oozed blood into the body of the freezer. I was concerned about buying another half a steer and putting the meat into a freezer that had possible toxic fumes coming out of its nether-regions.
I stated, “You are admitting that my freezer had a functional part failure by repairing it and now I want my reimbursement for food loss for the covered failure. My door failure was covered, so what is the process for getting my $100? A reputable company would admit that a 1 1/2 year old freezer that has serious door problems is faulty and would replace it. I would think they would even, in a good faith gesture, offer to repay me for ALL the food that went bad and not just 10% of it!"
I received an automated response saying I would get a reply within 5-7 working days. I never received a response.
9/17/08: I had to change the appointment the tech made to 9/25/08 as the door had not arrived.
9/24/08: BAX Global, the shipping company GE chose, called me to tell me my address was not on Mapquest. I verified my address with them because I know for a fact that my address shows up on Mapquest. They had the correct address so had probably typed it into Mapquest wrong. So, I gave them the nearest giant intersection and told them I was a mile west of it and that satisfied them. They said it would be delivered that same day. I told them I had a service technician coming the next morning between 8-11:00 so was glad the door was on its way.
At 5:15PM that same day I called them to find out if they were still going to deliver it. I was told it was out for delivery and would be delivered at my house around 7:00PM. I stayed up until 9:30PM and the delivery was not made.
9/25/08: I called them at 7:15AM and I was told the box was on my front porch and had been there since 4:30PM the day before. I told the woman that it had not been delivered and she told me it had. I told her it was not on my front porch and she told me her driver wrote a note that it was on the porch so I should go look because it was there! (Brilliant! A company that has one job to do…. deliver packages…. not only didn’t deliver my packages as promised but they lied about it, too.)
I walked outside while talking to her and told her it was not anywhere on our property. She said she would check with the driver when the driver came in. I asked what time that would be and she said 10:30AM. I told her the technician was coming before that to install the door and she said there was nothing else she could do!
The GE technician called me to make sure the door had arrived and I told him BAX seemed to have lost it as they said they had already delivered it. He said he would call his supervisor to find out what to do and would call me back. He did not call me back.
At 10:30AM I heard a bang on my front porch. The door had been delivered and the deliverer did not ring my doorbell nor apologize. Their office called me about an hour later to see if it had been delivered. They offered no apology, either.
9/26/08: I went online to see what the status was of my service call. It showed it was on hold awaiting the arrival of parts. Since the tech told me he would call me, since he knew I had a problem with the cheesy shipping company GE chose to deliver the door (parts had arrived via Fed Ex before), and since I've been treated so horribly up to that point I thought somebody would care. I thought somebody would call me. I thought somebody would call BAX and find out they finally delivered the door. Stupid me, still optimistic after all the nonsense your company had already put me through.
10/3/08: Tired of not having a working freezer, I called the number that the GE web page gave (800-GE-CARES). The web page said I could "speak to a service representative". I called that number instead of the number on my contract because the number on the contract never allows me the option to speak to anyone and I definitely wanted to talk to someone.
WELL.... guess what? The phone number GE-CARES needs to be changed to GE-DOES-NOT-CARE! It only had an automated menu that was identical to the other one.
The automated number told me that I had an appointment on 10/17/08. Nobody told me. Nobody. GE CARES?
I returned the automated email I had received on 9/11/08 with my updated timeline and dared someone at GE to contact me.
10/7/08: A second freezer door was delivered to my porch, this time via Fed Ex. That gave me two freezer doors, two door liners, and two gaskets in boxes in my garage.
10/9/08: A message was left on my answer machine from someone at GE regarding the email I had sent. I called the number back and actually got to talk to a person. He couldn’t do any more than offer to change my appointment. I asked to speak to a supervisor who could do something for me. I was transferred to a woman named Cee. I don't remember what she said her position in the company was, but she said she was not a supervisor. She could only parrot what she has been told even though I told her my long, sad story. She said that once a repair was scheduled nothing else could be done. She said my freezer cannot be replaced unless it is unrepairable. She just parroted that over and over.
I asked her how much money they have spent on me so far. She said no money. I asked how much they have paid the technicians and how much the parts cost. She didn't know.
She didn't know the name of the CEO of her company. She did give me the name of a vice president of something.
I tried to find the parts list
for my model. They don't have one. However, they had a list
for a model that was one digit off of my model. Here's how much in
parts GE has spent on my $484.00 freezer:
10/16 6:17PM: The automated system called me to verify that I would be home the next day from 8AM to 5PM for my service call. I verified.
10/17/08 9:45AM: I got a call saying my tech was sick and I had to reschedule my appointment! I had already moved my schedule around to make myself available all day long! I found out later the tech had been sick on Thursday, too. At the least, I should have been notified prior to 8AM.
10/20/08: The tech arrived and didn’t install either door set that had been delivered to my house. He only installed the Freezer Frost Kit retro-fit kit that was delivered to my house on 10/15/08. The instructions on the kit say: “Under certain conditions, excessive moisture infiltration and insufficient gap between top of door panel and cabinet top breaker can cause frost to develop on top of the door panel.”
Well, I never had frost on the top of my door panel. However, since an adjustable lower door hinge was also installed with instructions about making sure the magnet must sit flush on the cabinet steel flange makes me wonder if that is hinting that, without that adjustment, the door would open easily by itself. I don’t know. All I do know is that I still don’t know why my door opened twice and why all my food thawed! My door never sat level and still is off level, slanting down across the top going away from the hinge.
Jeff Immelt, CEO
I'm sending a copy of that letter
to the V.P. that Cee gave me:
Along with the time line above I put in my letters:
According to what I have been told over and over your
techs will make every attempt to fix the problem before a replacement
freezer is offered. OK, you have not fixed the problem. Nobody can
assure me that they know why it happened in the first place and they
cannot assure me it won’t happen again. I’ve been told over and over by
your own techs that no part of the freezer was faulty and it was not the
cause of my food defrosting. So, the only logical conclusion that can be
drawn is you cannot fix my freezer.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty. Your product, your
extended warranty service department, and your employees have put me
through hell. Since I have been unnecessarily inconvenienced, lied to on
a regular basis, and am still not sure I have a reliable freezer here’s
what I want:
10/29/08 10:58AM: I had a message on my voice mail
from Kelly Johnson from GE. She got my letter with cc to Roy
Graft. She said that it looked like I’d been in touch with Kara from
Warranty Management Department (nope, never heard of her). Kelly said
she will follow up with Kara to find out how it is being handled and
will work with her on resolution. I decided to wait to see how long it
would be before I heard from Kara.
12/23/08: I had
yet another technician come to my house. I had locked the freezer
door to make sure it didn't pop open on its own. One day I went
out there and opened the freezer, removed some food, closed the door,
and went into the house before I realized that the door had opened
without me unlocking it. I went back out the garage and discovered that
the lock did not hold the door shut. The hole was not lined up with the
I never heard any more from the woman who said she would work with the customer relations woman on a resolution. I guess calling an upset customer and raising their blood pressure is a satisfactory resolution for GE.
2/27/09: I am writing another letter to the same people filling them in on my experiences with their customer relations person and with my last technician. Plus I'm adding the following:
I’m still afraid to buy half a beef to put in the
freezer so I, once again, bypassed the opportunity to buy one from the
local FFA. So far I haven’t had another melt down, but it is still
winter and the weather is cool.
What I don't want is to hear from anyone else at
your company that just wants to parrot, "We have fulfilled the terms and
conditions of your warranty." This has gone way beyond normal
repairs. This has gone clear past reasonable expectations on the
part of a client. This has gone into the realm of a Candid Camera
type of cruel joke being played on me.
3/3/09: I give up! I got a call from the same Kelly Johnson who had called me on 10/29/08. She had a copy of the letter I had sent to the CEO. She was nice, but apparently had no authority to do anything to help me. She had me see if Electric Insurance, GE's insurance company, could do anything for me. If you want to try, their number is 888-456-7445. They said I only had 30 days to report a claim to them. So, how does one report a claim if one doesn't know they exist?? Plus he said they don't offer food coverage for freezers. The reason I got $100 was because I had the extended warranty.
I asked him what would happen if I called him if my food thawed again. He said I would have to submit a claim and see. Well, if he said they offered no coverage then it sure sounds like it would get denied, doesn't it?
So, I called Kelly back. She can only offer me a goodwill gesture of another $100 for food loss. Great. Now I have a freezer I cannot trust that I only bought to store FFA beef. I cannot buy another side of beef because I can't afford to lose another $1,000 worth of meat. I have a freezer albatross in my garage that is just costing us money in electricity to keep it running.
GE does not stand behind its products. It does nothing for you when you are treated badly by its employees. It does not care that you are stuck with a worthless freezer.
Anybody want to buy a marvelous, wonderful, gorgeous GE freezer? I'll even throw in two brand-spanking new doors, door liners, and gaskets still in their boxes!
3/12/09: I got a call from Eliana, the Home Depot's CEO's representative. I had sent a letter to Home Depot letting them know about customer service problems with GE appliances that they sell. She said that mine was not the first complaint about GE.
She called GE's extended warranty department to tell them to come to my house and replace the motor and the door on my freezer. She agreed with me that I shouldn't have to worry about my freezer.
Oh, I forgot to tell you.... my husband ordered another side of beef and neglected to tell me. So, the pressure was on to get the freezer fixed prior to losing another massive amount of food.
3/26/09: One of the technicians that had already come to my house a couple of times showed up. He wouldn't replace the motor nor the door. He told me there was nothing wrong with my freezer.
We talked for a long time. I kept trying to make him understand that I couldn't be comfortable knowing that the door to the freezer could pop open at any time. It was a pain to have to lock and unlock the freezer door every time I used it and I shouldn't have to lock it just to keep the door from opening on its own.
When I told him I was seriously considering selling it he wanted to know for how much. I told him I couldn't ask more than $100 because I would have to tell the buyers what had happened and I would feel guilty charging more for a freezer that had not been repaired because nobody could figure out what was wrong with it. The technician said he'd give me $100 for it. That's right.
So, there I was. I had no more fight left in me. My friend felt sorry for me and offered to make a few calls on my behalf to see what she could do.
She ended up talking to another customer relations person at GE that had no people skills, a rude person named Antonio. What the heck is wrong with a company that has a CUSTOMER RELATIONS department that has rude people in it???
Antonio told my friend that they won't come to my house again for the same freezer problem and, if I call them, they will cancel my extended warranty because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY FREEZER.
Just to find out what GE says when they think they are going to sell you an extended warranty she pretended to be shopping for one. They said the appliance would be repaired or replaced if it couldn't be repaired. She asked who made the decision to replace it and the answer was..... are you ready for this...... the technicians. Funny, nobody told any of the five different technicians that came to my house that they had any such decision making authority.
Conclusion: GE is filled with powerless liars and crappy products
I sent one more letter off to the CEO of GE updating him on my experiences. I pointed out that he must be the only one in all of GE that has authority. I asked him to contact me if he cared about what I had gone through thanks to GE.
Kelly Johnson left me a message on my answer machine regarding that letter. She, again, offered to sell me another freezer while pro-rating my old one. Good grief. Torture me and then offer me some peanuts.
That's the end of an
Here's the good news:
Home Depot is going to give me full credit on my two year old freezer toward an upgrade! Home Depot actually cares about their customers! The store manager is going to notify his headquarters that GE threatened me (they will cancel my warranty if I call them again) and that their technician refused to replace parts on my freezer and offered to buy it from me. The only problem I have now is that the only freezers that Home Depot carries are GE. GE now installs alarms on their freezers for when the temperature drops. Don't you wonder if they all were lying to me and there are other people out there who had problems with thawing food?
This time I'm getting the Home Depot extended warranty.
I got my new freezer. Yes, it has a temperature alarm on it. The instructions said the alarm would go off when I plugged it in for the first time. I plugged it in and heard nothing. I unplugged it and plugged it back in and still heard nothing. I unplugged it, handed the plug to my husband, put my ear next to the alarm panel on the door of the freezer, and had my husband plug it back in.
Here's how loud it was:
Can you read that? It says beep beep. So, if the temperature drops on my freezer I have to be standing in front of it with my ear pressed to the alarm panel in the door to hear the alarm. What a bunch of hoooey!
THINGS I FOUND:
Freezer Thaws Then Freezes
Brand: General Electric
Model Number: STS22ICMBRWW
Age: 5 - 10 years
Our freezer just started thawing and then refreezing. We can open the door and all the ice in the ice maker has turned to water and everythinhg is ruined and then again in an hour or so and it is a frozen block of ice. I cleaned the dust off the coils hoping that that would work, but no change. I am not sure what to try next! Help!!
GE upright freezer sidewalls HOT
Both exterior sidewalls are hot! Checked under it, all appears to be o.k., on vinyl floor-underneath what looks like 6 to 8 drops of antifreeze on floor. No corrision anywhere, have inside empty, interior backwall cover off, restarted, fan almost doesn't turn, very slow, pausing, total of one minute, now is running fine. coils appear to have little accumliation of ice. Fan is turning great now, both sides are hot, yet open the door and fan operating fine. What do I check now? Is all this problem from the fan. I'm no pro.
There is an entry about a freezer seemingly warming up, functioning fine, then warming again.
Go to My 3 Cents and type in GE thaw and see what pops up.
Consumer Affairs.com People are having problems with the doors of their GE refrigerators as well.
They are describing the newer version of my freezer and refer to a review at Home Depot's web site. The link they use is not a good one, but here is what it said:
"A handful of owners review the GE FUF14DTRWH upright freezer on the Home Depot website. All give it a perfect rating, but one owner received a unit with a defective door panel."
That makes two of us.
Are You a Victim, Too?
Here are places you can file complaints:
|Better Business Bureau|
|Federal Trade Commission|
|Contact the store where you bought it to let them know they are selling a faulty product|
|Suggestions: Document all phone calls and conversations. Write down names, dates, and times. Keep track of everything.|